Jump to content

Zeldazonk: AD induced bipolar 2 diagnosis?


Zeldazonk

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I need to keep this short because I have chronic fatigue & can't concentrate for long.

I've been off & on (mostly on) medication for 25 years. I've just come to the conclusion that my Bipolar 2 Dx may be incorrect in that, I think my hypomanic symptoms may be caused by antidepressants. I never had those symptoms before I started taking them.

I guess I'll never know for sure :-(

 

I've just been reading about how long term use can turn depression into a chronic disease (if it wasn't already) and about the symptoms of Tardive Dysphoria. Sounds like me.

 

I've been taking Lithium, Cymbalta and a bit of Valium for years now.

I feel like I'd like to try to come off the Cymbalta (to start with) but I just wonder if it's too late for me now. I've been reading about how some of the side effects may not be reversible.

 

I've come off meds before and I would use Prozac to get off the Cymbalta as I've done before successfully.

But how do you know - two months, six months, a year down the track, if you're still feeling the effects of withdrawal in your moods etc, or if you're back to yourself - or at least as good as you're going to get post years of meds???

 

Thanks for reading, Zel

Edited by scallywag
tags added

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • Replies 77
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Zeldazonk

    45

  • scallywag

    10

  • Altostrata

    4

  • ChessieCat

    4

Top Posters In This Topic

Hi Zeldazonk my heart goes out to you and and your plight.

im sorry you have been held in this cocktail of drugs for so long.

Im so glad you found sa. Welcome home.

I have no doubt whatsoever that you are totally correct in doubting your bipolar diagnosis.

 

You might want to do a drug sig and put in your current doses you dont have to go back 25 yrs but the last 5 say would be fine im sure.

 

I believe you can get out from under these dreadful chemicals. But imo you will need to go slowly.

You might want to check out this thread.

Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

The rec rate of taper here is 10% per month of previous dose i think after being on drugs for so long a 5% taper may be better to start with. Some have even started off with a 2.5 % per month taper.

Go slow is the way to go.

 

I dont understand how you can say i came off cymbalta successfully before and yet here you are still taking it. What im guessing happened is you got off it then 3months later ? 6 months later? you had withdrawal symptoms and mistook them for psychological distress that needed medicating? And bang back on the drug. Did you know that wdl symptoms can be delayed.

Withdrawal symptoms can go on for years once off the drug. But it can be minimized if you taper safely as recommended here.

Here is a list of wdl symptoms

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

You might want to check out the Aussi members thread and consider joining the class action suit by Drayton Sher lawyers.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6284-australia-members-please-check-in-here/

 

You might want to check out this link about 'what is wdl syndrome' Then you will realise for sure that  you dont have a roo loose in the top paddock you have a serious iatrogenic (doctor caused ) psychotropic drug addiction. And symptoms of abstinence can last for years.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

This also is very insightful...explaining how our brains have been profoundly altered and it takes time to reverse these changes...its not a matter of getting the drug out of the body its about going slow enough to give the brain time to adjust to reduced drug levels.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1160-how-psychiatric-drugs-remodel-your-brain/

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Zeldazonk,

 

Welcome to SA.  This site has lots of great information and the members & voluntary staff are supportive and helpful.

 

NZ gave you good links to check out (and he beat me with one of my favourites - here's another about the brain Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery, but he did miss giving you the link How to Put Your History in Your Signature.  As he said you don't need to give your extensive history but good detailed information about dates, ALL drugs, doses and how you decreased/increased will all help the mods be able to give you their best advice.

 

You are definitely not the only one who has been incorrectly diagnosed as bipolar:  bipolar-mania-hypomania-depression-or-drug-effects/ (SEE Posts # 9, 10 & 11).

 

You can use your Intro Topic to ask questions and to journal your progress.  If you click Follow This Topic you will receive an email when someone replies.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment

Thanks nz11



I have no doubt whatsoever that you are totally correct in doubting your bipolar diagnosis.

 

I'm not quite so sure...

 

Withdrawal symptoms can go on for years once off the drug.

 

Can you point me to any scientific literature about that? Is there any?

 

I dont understand how you can say i came off cymbalta successfully before and yet here you are still taking it.

 

No, I've come off AD's before, not Cymbalta, but I'd use Prozac to come off it - but now I'll think about tapering more slowly.

 

Sorry, I don't know how to quote!

 

Zel.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

In your first post you stated:  I never had those symptoms before I started taking them.

 

I believe that is your confirmation that you don't have bipolar.As for papers there are some links in this post:

 

protracted-withdrawal-is-a-real-syndrome/#entry167058

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Zeldazonk,

 

Sounds like you might feel more reassured if you had some scientific analysis to read.  Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker, brings together many studies relating to the rise of misdiagnosed bipolar disorder as a result of psychiatric drug use, the rise of chronic depression as a result of antidepressant use, and the overall worsening of 'mental health' stats since psych drugs were introduced.  It's an eye-opener, for sure. 

 

It takes time to absorb this new information, and then to come to terms with how your own situation sits within it.  So do take your time, and feel free to ask questions as you go. 

 

Welcome to s/a,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

Link to comment

Thanks Chessie Cat and Karen :)

 

Chessie - I did say I didn't have those symptoms before taking AD's. I'm just searching through my memories to be certain that was the case...

I was also on steroids at that time (more consistently than AD's) which may have had an impact.

Thanks for the link - very interesting.

And I'll check out Whitaker, thanks Karen.

 

These are things that cloud this picture for me - My grandmother was diagnosed with manic depression, and I take after her very much, my daughter is remarkably like me mood-wise, (poor love). We're also on the Autism Spectrum and perhaps if I'd known this about myself earlier (I was diagnosed as an adult), I would have understood myself in a different light. There are other confusing things but I can't remember them atm.

 

Best, Zel.

 

PS Karen, do you attribute your 'raging' to medication?

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment

 

Can you point me to any scientific literature about that? Is there any?

 

Sure first i will point you to some anecdotal evidence...nz11 post #100

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7571-☼-nz11-climbs-onboard/?p=124382

 

Lets remember that 80% of reported adverse events dismissed as anecdotal actually turn out to be true.

 

Most of those who had stopped taking antidepressants made a full but slow recovery from akathisia; some developed chronic, and some developed delayed post withdrawal akathisia weeks and months after stopping the medicines  and withdrawal akathisia which went on for years was the hardest to manage and reverse. Many remained physically disabled and felt weak and remained on disability support. Suicidal and homicidal ideation both sometimes persisted for months after withdrawal. When a subject understood its cause and saw that it was decreasing in intensity, it was less dangerous and easier to tolerate. Sometimes suicidality developed for the first time when a dose was missed and when the subject tried to stop taking the drugs.

see post 482 for lucire journal article and brief summary

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7571-☼-nz11-climbs-onboard/?p=209671

 

Hows that for starters.

 

nz11

Dont forget the thousands of people on this site also.

 

By the way 'raging' is a classic symptom of withdrawal why do you think there are so many school shootings in america.

Why do you think the FDA warned that abrupt changes in dose can cause suicidal and homicidal ideations.

 

I'm not quite so sure...

cc hit it on the head you didnt have it before drugs so how can you possible have that.

It is plainly incorrect to diagnose a brain altered by chemicals. That should be the abc of medicine but sadly its been overlooked!

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Link to comment

Thanks nz

 

Thanks nz11,

 

I am reading those links!

 

"It is plainly incorrect to diagnose a brain altered by chemicals. That should be the abc of medicine but sadly its been overlooked!"

 

Yes, I can see your point. There's the argument that there was an underlying bipolar condition but I don't necessarily buy that.

I'm just so disheartened by all this - I'll never know for sure what I'd have been like without meds (I did have a fairly substantial depressive disorder going on to begin with), and no matter what I do now, I'll never know what's "me" and what is a brain / system changed by long term med use. It may be irreversible, so that makes me think it's just a big murky ocean of unknown.

 

When could one start on a dose of St John's Wort?

 

Thanks, Zel.

 

PS Did you read my last post (no.7)?

 

 

11

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment

Another question

 

With the super slow tapering, does that help mainly with the time actually coming off the drug, or does it also help with long term, emotional craziness?

 

Just that, using Prozac, the actual tapering and stopping for me has been quite easy in the past, but the eventual mood / emotional problems have been huge.

 

Also, how on earth can you tell that the depression, for eg, that follows discontinuation is due to withdrawal? Even 1 or 2 years down the track?

 

I still have lots of reading to do.

 

Thanks for your time, Zel.

 

PS I will put my drug history in my signature.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Zel,

 

"I still have lots of reading to do."

 

Yep.  And I've just realised that noone has given you the link to Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

And here's another, more detailed version of what happens to the brain Best Description of Healing Process

 

There are many videos on youtube.  I have created a website (link in my signature) which has a page of Information Links to information and videos which I found helpful/interesting.  On the home page is a list of books.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment

Z, My "adventures" with a bipolar diagnosis started the day after I took Cymbalta and Seroquel together, but there is also a lot of mental illness in my extended family, something going on with about 20% of my grandmother's descendants.

 

Next month I will hit four years of tapering. During that time, I have been all over the map in how I looked at drugs, my doctors, myself, everything. Today I am in a place where I am just seeking healing, the labels don't have any power either to induce anxiety or anger in me. I don't know whether symptoms are from withdrawal or from underlying illness, they just need to be dealt with. My most recent psychiatrist said two things that were freeing to me. (1). You can't just be mad at the doctors, they were only doing what they were trained to do (frankly, I expect more curiosity and innovation from such highly trained people, but it helped a little) and (2). It's hard to know if you have bipolar disorder since we don't even know what it is.

 

Either a diagnosis of bp disorder just scares and shames you, or it is worthless. So I think it is worthless, but I do study the non-drug treatments to get ideas for optimizing my own self-management.

 

I will also say that in these four years, I have only missed one day of work from mental health symptoms. It's been hard, but not impossible. I don't know if I will go off lithium completely, but I am recently more at peace about that possibility as I feel like my dose is low enough to minimize harm from it. Just get in there and study and reduce carefully, and things will become more clear.

 

As you look at your health in general, it seems gut issues are rampant in people with bipolar and autism diagnoses...that and metal toxicity are my own personal focus at the moment.

 

Also, a book on depression is coming out next week that I think will be interesting...A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan. Her website and blog are at kellybroganmd.com. The best to you!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Zeldazonk,

 

I'd been a raging person for years, before I ever took antidepressants.  It was one of the things I wanted to get on top of when I reached for meds out of desparation. 

 

The literature talks about antidepressants giving people a window where things do often work out, and that was true for me - my raging pretty much disappeared.  But the price I've paid has been too high.  The antidepressants proceeded to sink me into a depression the likes of which I'd never experienced before, and also gave me panic-attacks which I'd never had before at all.  I tried switching meds a few times, to no avail.  Now I'm highly sensitised to them, and am going to be spending years tapering.  Too high a price...

 

Slow tapering does help greatly in reducing the emotional fallout.  Any stress on the body always shows up in emotional difficulties and vice-versa.  We just can't separate out emotional problems from withdrawal.    

 

I'm glad you are getting your teeth into this stuff Zelda,

 

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

Link to comment

Thanks Karen,

 

Yeah, I guess I'm confused because a couple things I've read (links from SA) have suggested that if you can taper more quickly, go for it.

That's why I wondered if it affected medium - long term mental health.

 

Anyway... I'm not convinced that meds have been detrimental to my mental health, but I'm interested to see what being off my AD's will be like.

(And also terrified because I have a very sensitive ten year old depending on me with mental health challenges of her own.)

I am worried that they may be causing my lack of motivation, anhedonia etc.

 

Thing is, I can't conclusively put those things down to meds because I've always felt that way to one extent or another. I don't have a "normal" to reference since I became ill when I was 13 and have never felt well since.

 

All the best, Zel.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Zeldazonk , welcome to the site. I've been waiting to say hello because you've been almost bombarded with new information since you joined.

 

One of the ways to differentiate withdrawal symptoms from an original condition is the additional variety of symptoms that accompany it. If you think back , you may recall experiencing things that weren't part of the package of depression.

 

If you'd like to talk to our Australian expert , Dr Yolande Lucire , send her an email and she'll set it up. It will either be free or bulk-billed. You can see her video and thread here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6383-dr-yolande-lucire-adverse-reactions-to-psychiatric-drugs/

 

With a child depending on you , and your brain used to drugs for so many years , you're going to need to take this very cautiously. Start with small decreases - if they prove no problem , you can try going a bit quicker.

I'm sorry that your daughter is a casualty of the ad's too. There's much written about the correlation between mothers taking antidepressants having children with disorders on the autism spectrum. The meds. are doing damage to our cells and organs that we can't see , but that show themselves in iatrogenic illnesses.

 

Take your time and read. Pop into the Australia room to say hi when you're up to it , lots of Queenslanders there. And maybe look through this link on Theoreis of Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome , and other papers in the "From Journals and Scientific Articles" section.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/325-papers-on-diagnosis-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

Best wishes , Fresh

 

If you click Follow at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to comment

Thanks so much Fresh,

 

I'll look at those links and I think definitely speak to Dr Lucire.

 

I'm kind of hoping the AD's didn't cause the Autism in my daughter as my mother, her mother, me and my brother and his son also are on the spectrum.

 

All the best, Zel.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment

Meimeiquest,

 

I've written a response to your post on my computer but my internet is off. Should be able to post it tomorrow.

 

Zel.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment

Hi Meimeiquest

 

"the labels don't have any power either to induce anxiety or anger in me. I don't know whether symptoms are from withdrawal or from underlying illness, they just need to be dealt with."

 

I love your attitude. May I attain it one day :)

I get stuck thinking - if what the meds have done is irreversible, I really don't want to spend harrowing, hellish months / years finding that out. The last time I gave up I didn't last long at all, the terror and despair were too much for me. I could barely function.

 

"Either a diagnosis of bp disorder just scares and shames you, or it is worthless."

 

I didn't really feel that way about it but then I'm Autistic and I love a category. :lol:

Now I just think of it as a mood disorder (which I always clearly had) that may, or may not have been made worse by drugs.

 

You know, I've known people who have received a bipolar diagnosis and the accompanying prescriptions after seeing a Dr once or twice.

It's unbelievable - I saw my psych on and off for years before she / we came to the bipolar word.

 

I don't know if I'll come off Lithium either. It's the chronic SNRI use that I'm feeling wary of at the moment.

 

All the best to you, Zel.

 

PS I'm aware of the gut stuff, I've has IBS since I was a kid. There's a huge ocean of the unknown there too. :mellow:

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Zelda.

 

Perhaps you can better understand the use of the label "bipolar" if you knew that psychiatrists use it when they don't know what else to call what they're seeing. It is a wastebasket diagnosis.

 

If your "hypomania" started with antidepressants, it's much more likely an adverse reaction to the antidepressants. Many people find them overstimulating. Cymbalta, in particular, is a noradrenergic with a recognized serious adverse effect of hypomania:

 

From FDA prescribing information http://www.drugs.com/pro/cymbalta.html#s29

 
Activation of Mania/Hypomania

In adult placebo-controlled trials in patients with major depressive disorder, activation of mania or hypomania was reported in 0.1% (4/3779) of Cymbalta-treated patients and 0.04% (1/2536) of placebo-treated patients. No activation of mania or hypomania was reported in DPNP, GAD, fibromyalgia, or chronic musculoskeletal pain placebo-controlled trials. Activation of mania or hypomania has been reported in a small proportion of patients with mood disorders who were treated with other marketed drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder. As with these other agents, Cymbalta should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.

 

Your psychiatrist and other doctors have been remiss in not recognizing an obvious adverse effect of a drug they've prescribed to you. Quite often, such inattentive doctors will use labels such as "bipolar" and shrug their shoulders when such adverse effects appear.

 

You can taper Cymbalta by opening the capsule and removing one bead at a time. Please read Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine) (thank you, nz). As you go lower in dosage, the adverse effect should decrease.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Thanks Altostrata,

 

I'm thinking of doing the Prozac method. I've done it before, but haven't tapered the Prozac slowly enough.

Do you think this would be ok with Cymbalta?

Before I start, I'm going to speak to Dr Lucire so she might have an opinion.

 

Best, Zel.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • Administrator

If you can directly taper from Cymbalta, that would be preferable. Switching drugs adds more risk. Prozac might also cause hypomania.

 

In addition, there is a dangerous interaction between Cymbalta and Prozac, see http://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/cymbalta-with-fluoxetine-949-2273-1115-0.html-- so cross-tapering might be tricky.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Well,

 

My theory of the moment is that I have chronic, mild serotonin toxicity.

 

I don't even know what I'm talking about, but Dr Lucire's description of akathesia sounds precisely and exactly what I've been complaining about for 20 years. My most hated aspect of my 'bipolar disorder'.

 

Before meds, I'm pretty sure I was 'just' very biologically depressed, which was no fun either, but this is just another layer on top. Which I've always felt like. I've always said that it's the thing I hate the most because it doesn't feel like me. I don't like me when I feel like that.

 

I am pissed off.

 

zel.

 

AND this has absolutely exhausted my body - being wired all the time - hence Chronic Fatigue.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment

Thanks Altostrata,

 

Yeah, I think I might go the compounding pharmacy route with Cymbalta.

 

Zel.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Altostrata & everyone,

I don't know if you can answer this but...
Do you have a sense of whether the Prozac switch (done carefully & slowly) is worse, neutral or better than simply tapering when it comes to short to medium term emotional symptoms?

 

I used Prozac to come off Efexor a few years ago. It was very effective in the short term, as in I had almost no physical w/d symptoms, but in the weeks & months to follow I had dreadful depression (despair) and fear, and went back on meds. I'm now assuming this was at least partly due to withdrawing. Of course, I didn't taper off the Prozac slowly enough back then.

 

I'm still trying to decide which way to go. I've reduced Cymbalta by 10% and am quite achy & head-achy but nothing too terrible.

Thanks for your time, Zel

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Z, switching to Prozac increases the risk of destabilizing your nervous system or triggering withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes your system does not accept Prozac as a replacement for the first drug, in your current situation, Cymbalta, and you get severe withdrawal symptoms from the substitution.

 

Directly tapering off Cymbalta is safer for many reasons.

 

No one can predict which would be best for "medium term emotional symptoms". It does sound like you went off Prozac too fast and got withdrawal symptoms from that.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Thanks Alto,

 

I think you've convinced me, I'll just keep tapering. I've bought some scales so I'll be using them from the next dose reduction.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

Hi,

 

I'm having pretty horrid withdrawal symptoms. Have to keep this short.

I was tapering successfully off Cymbalta - up to my third or fourth drop in dose when I got talked into / decided to try an acupuncturist who specialises in addiction. Had seen some amazing results with friends - not with antidepressants though - with nicotine and sugar.

Anyway I'll write all about this on my updates thing.

 

Long story short, he did two treatments on two consecutive days & then cold turkey. Surprise surprise, I'm now suffering.

 

QUESTION: How long should I ride this out before just re-instating my last dose & continuing my taper?

Is there some kind of timeline? Should I wait a week and see if there's any improvement?

I pretty much feel like I've just gone off cold turkey anyway. I don't know if it would be worse without the bloody acupuncture or not.

 

Thanks, Zel.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment

Hi Zelda. I have moved your topic to your Introduction thread, as this will keep keep all your questions in one place, and you will receive more responses and help. 

If your last dose was just a few days ago, I would reinstate and hold for a good while until your system settles. Would you mind adding the dose you are on to your signature. It is unclear, as to how much you have been taking.

While acupuncture can be helpful as an adjunct, whilst tapering , it doesn't replace a slow , careful taper. What symptoms are you having now ?

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

Link to comment
  • Member

Zeldazonk, don't you have a thread already from 2012? It really should be found and merged with this one so your story is all in one place. Is is important.

 

Google reveals a status update post to 'Healing' from 2012. That you? The name rang a bell so I did a search.....

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Zeldazonk, 

 

I'm trying to make sense of your history from your sig but it needs some clarifying.  Could you include dates for your recent tapering off Cymbalta, including dosages, and the date that you jumped off?  How long have you been off now?  All I can see is that you began tapering in March. If you've already done three or four cuts since then before jumping off, then you were likely going too fast to begin with.

 

I gather it's been fairly recently that you jumped off, in which case I would say we ALWAYS recommend reinstatement (for sure within the first three months) though it is always ultimately up to the member.  There is nothing to be gained from pushing through and riding the withdrawal out and then reinstating at a later time.  You will be setting yourself way back with such an approach, because reinstatement doesn't always work the later you do it, and finding the right dose to use is a shot in the dark.  Taking too much can lead to severe side effects and/or adverse reactions. 

 

So, what was the last dose you felt ok on and how long ago was that?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

As you know, going cold turkey or off too fast leads to protracted withdrawal that can last for months and more likely years, with windows and waves.  Cymbalta is related to Effexor; both are known for horrid protracted withdrawal.

 

So please fill us in and we will help you figure out a reinstatement dose and get you on your way.  You'll likely need to hang out on that dose for a good couple of months before resuming tapering, because your nervous system has been sent into disarray and needs time to get sorted out.  Also, if you were tapering too aggressively, your system will need a chance to get caught up to where you were at before this CT.  No judgement here; we just need to know what has happened so that we can give you the best fit suggestions.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
I was tapering successfully off Cymbalta - up to my third or fourth drop in dose when I got talked into / decided to try an acupuncturist who specialises in addiction. ...  he did two treatments on two consecutive days & then cold turkey. Surprise surprise, I'm now suffering.

 

QUESTION: How long should I ride this out before just re-instating my last dose & continuing my taper?

 

Zeldazonk, Your acupuncturist may understand withdrawal from nicotine and sugar but he doesn't have a clue about prescription psychotropic substances. Suggesting you stop them cold turkey -- I have many bad words for someone with that kind of arrogance. :mad:  :angry: 

 

To know what the best first option is about your symptoms, the moderators will need to know when you took your last dose of Cymbalta.

  • If it's only been a few days, there's probably not too much damage has been done. If I were you, I'd reinstate at your most recent dose and hold there. Post that here in your thread
  • If it's been longer, please post the date of your last dose and the doses and timelines of your taper since March. One of the moderators will have some suggestions for you.

When you're feeling a bit more settled for a few minutes, it would also help to update your signature with that same information (last dose & day, taper doses and cut dates)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Thanks, scallywag.

 

Zelda, I would reinstate your last dosage of Cymbalta as soon as possible.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Thanks so much for replies.

I was travelling really well with my tapering before this acupuncture debacle which happened this week.

I was only completely off for two days, although he had me halve my dose a few days before that. I knocked it up again though because it was too much.

I have re-instated with the last dose I was comfortable on.

Hi Zeldazonk, 

 

I'm trying to make sense of your history from your sig but it needs some clarifying.  Could you include dates for your recent tapering off Cymbalta, including dosages, and the date that you jumped off?  How long have you been off now?  All I can see is that you began tapering in March. If you've already done three or four cuts since then before jumping off, then you were likely going too fast to begin with.

So SG, I think I'd made 3 cuts in that time (10%) - I will update my signature asap - if it's going fine, is that still too fast?

I find the dosage extremely confusing because there's 165mg beads per cap, equivalent to 30mg of drug.

I taper by 10%, that's the best I can say. I have cognitive impairment.

 

Zel.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment
  • Member

Oh lovely cymbalta, a peach of a drug. Causes you to have symptoms of withdrawal in as little as 4 to 8 hours after a missed dose. I never knew that whan I was on it.

 

Going back to your last stable dose should immediately help you to feel better, then taper this drug slowly. I got a delayed reaction a year after I went cold turkey, which I do not recommend. It happened by accident and was then too late to reinstate and taper.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Ok, so what's your reinstatement dose?  I'd hold on that for a month and get nice and stable before resuming.  Thankfully this was a short detour :-)

 

What dose are you on now?  You may eventually want to get a milligram scale and weigh your beads.  At least with my brand of venlafaxine beads, they vary in size, so counting can lead to variability.  May not be a problem at higher doses, but as you get lower it could be problematic.  Just something to consider.

 

I hope you get back to feeling normal quickly; did you notice improvement right away?

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

Link to comment

I have been using a mg scale from the beginning. Luckily my husband worked out all the numbers for me.

 

I don't know how to work out my dose. It's 93 mg but I'm tapering from 30mg Cymbalta (Andepra) so I'd have to work out exactly what amount of Duloxetine is in 93mg of beads.

 

As I said above, there's 30mg Duloxetine in 175mg beads (not 165).

Any tips?

 

I'm feeling better now, it took a few hours. I'm kicking myself, I knew better but I let myself be bamboozled :(

I'll hold this dose for a month or so.

Dx ASD, Bipolar 2 & cPTSD

It started well before this (1990) but...

 

2008 - came off Efexor & Seoquel

2008? - 2016 Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

(2015 - Valdoxan < 1 month 2016 - Provigil < 1 month

2016 - Straterra < 1 month)

 

March 2016 - Cymbalta, Lithium, Valium prn

March - start tapering Cymbalta by 10% April 10th - reduce May 1st - reduce May 24th - cold turkey (acupuncturist fool) - pretty bad withdrawal

May 27th - re-instate. June 29th - reduce. August 11th reduce. Sept 14th - reduce. Oct 23rd reduce. Nov 20th - reduce. Nov 29th - PROZAC SWITCH - started at equivalent dose to Cymbalta. 1/2 Lovan in 30ml water - take 10ml. Reduced by 1 ml at differing intervals - 3-5 weeks - until May 12th.

May12th - Antidepressant free!!

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy